Mick to L’Wren: “Miss You”

There goes Sarah Jessica Parker, strutting down the red carpet at another Hollywood awards event. “Ooh Ahh,” the gawkers mutter.

“Who are you wearing?” a reporter asks Sarah Jessica.

“L’Wren Scott,” she answers.

Ooh Ahh, I think. L’Wren Scott must be on Cloud 9. I know I’ve heard her name before (didn’t Michelle Obama once wear one of her dresses?), but I don’t know much else about her, She’s got to be a hot-shot designer, what with all these “celebs” wearing and lauding her creations, I surmise.

By all appearances, 49-year-old L’Wren had it all: A former model (standing 6’3”), celebrity stylist and costume designer, she worked with renowned photographers, singers, and actors, from Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts to Madonna and Elizabeth Taylor. She was romantically involved with the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger since 2001. She launched her first clothing line in 2006 and handbag collection in 2011.

We all know appearances can be deceiving. And in the vacuous world of “high fashion,” where fantasy often does a superb job of masking the facts, appearances count for a great deal. Until they don’t. Unfortunately, L’Wren’s seeming success had no bearing on the facts: Her company was $6 million in debt; she reportedly refused to ask boyfriend, Mick, for financial help, and she was haunted by her situation. So haunted, she hung herself in her Manhattan apartment earlier this week.

“She wanted so badly for things to be a success. Whereas she got her outfits on a number of high profile people, the clothes were not a commercial hit and didn’t fly off the shelves. It was a huge burden on her and she didn’t want to fail,” a spokesman said for an article in a London newspaper.

“There was a delight to her that is hard to imagine extinguished,” Sarah Jessica Parker said, after receiving news of her death. “She didn’t reveal another side to me, but, of course, we are all complex as human beings and I wouldn’t have claimed to be privy to that other part of late.”

A few months from her 50th birthday, L’Wren’s act of suicide, like any suicide, unnerves me. I can imagine the extreme anxiety she must have felt, but what propelled her from distress to despair?

Life can be pretty brutal, even for
the happiest people, although I can’t imagine how things could get so bleak that you’d want to kill yourself.

I only know my own life. I doubt L’Wren made her decision on a whim, so things must have been a lot bleaker for her than anything I’ve ever experienced.

Yes, appearances are, indeed, deceiving. We might envy a woman for her connection to one of the most talented, famous men in the world, but we learn her relationship was as shrouded in fantasy as her business. Seeking financial or emotional help from her successful boyfriend apparently wasn’t an option. We might believe a woman basks in her friendships with the rich and the famous, but we learn that her fear of failure prevented her from being her own best friend. It just goes to show that you can never quantify someone else’s happiness or success. That’s something only they can do.

Please tell me your thoughts on L’Wren’s suicide

  • Rebecca Barrymore

    Having been an independent career woman up until my marriage to a famous acting family when I was just 39, and having gone thru the Hollywood ladder of “success”, I find this story somewhat a sign of the times for independent women. When strong, creative and perceived “Successful” women align themselves with famous men, they are always somewhat in the shadow of their own light and in this case, I think L’Wren must have been overwhelmed by the high beams that Jagger’s celebrity projected into her world. It is a tragedy to see a woman of her talent, beauty and creative expression be now silenced by death. Let us hope, those who really knew her, celebrate her life and her talent with their loving remembrances as you are doing with this article. thanks L’Wren for the moment of light you brought to this world and my sincere sorrows for her loved one’s loss.

  • Isaac Mizrahi, I think, has failed a couple of times, owned millions, and I also think he went into bankruptcy. Other male designers have come to the abyss, and fallen off and yet they have wandered in the wilderness a bit and come back. I think in Scott’s case, this was someone for whom her success(or lack thereof) defined her. Her business problems were something that she insisted she must carry alone, and like some sort of Super Woman, she had to lift the entire thing on her own shoulders despite circumstances that were not under her control. She was so self-identified with her business that its lack of success, to her I think, defined her failure as a person as well, with disappointing herself, her family out in Utah, seemingly letting ‘everyone’ down. Refusing to ask for help and not knowing what else to do, she performed the only act she could control.
    My grandfather was a furrier and he went into bankruptcy at least once, selling everything in the shop to pay off his creditors (they got 98 cents on the dollar supposedly). The loss of the business hit him very very hard; this was the only thing he wanted. Yet, I don’t think suicide ever entered his mind — he went out to Detroit to make fur coats for auto executives’ wives and then went out to Hollywood to make fur coats for studio executives’ wives and starlets (the man learned the lesson to follow the money). Would Scott have done what she did if she could have sat down with Isaac Mizrahi – would she have sat down with him or someone like him? Or was she so self-identified with her business that it was all on her…or nothing?

    • Hi Toby,

      As always, I enjoyed your astute comments and your grandfather’s story.

      Fondly,
      Geri